A 25-year-old Queens man was arrested early Monday after he allegedly got drunk and drove onto a LIRR track, riding the rails for nearly a mile and only stopping after his car hit a third rail and burst into flames. The smoldering car forced the MTA to suspend LIRR service for three hours Sunday night.
Ronny Mora was drunk when he drove onto LIRR tracks at the Borden Avenue railroad crossing in Long Island City shortly after 11 p.m., MTA police said. From there, Mora headed east on the tracks for about three-quarters of a mile, past the LIRR's Hunterpoint Avenue station and towards Sunnyside Yards, according to police.
At some point Mora's car hit a third rail and caught fire, police said. Mora ditched the vehicle, and as he was walking away it burst into flames. Mora eventually made it back to the rail crossing, where he told LIRR employees that he had left his car on the tracks and was "sorry," police said.
Service on the LIRR was closed for three hours between Penn Station and Jamaica as firefighters extinguished the fire and LIRR personnel repaired the damaged third rail. By the time the blaze was out it had consumed Mora's entire car and left it a pile of steel and ashes.
Mora has been charged with unlawful interference with a train, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, criminal trespassing, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
It was not immediately clear if Mora had an attorney.